"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NFL BREAKING NEWS: IS THERE MORE BEHIND THE CUTLER BENCHING?

In the wake of the Chicago Bears' announcement that backup QB Jimmy Clausen would replace long-time starter Jay Cutler for Sunday's game against the Lions, it made me wonder what was really behind the move. Although the real reason is probably pretty straight forward, something like wanting him to remain healthy so they could trade him and his league-high contract after the season, it's possible there are more subtle reasons.

  • After starting his career in Denver, it has become clear that orange just isn't his color. Of course that rules out a number of teams for a trade, including Miami, Cleveland and Cincinnati. But we know that there's one color he's very fond of, and that's green...lots of it. Go Jets!
  • Maybe they didn't bench him, but instead Cutler is sitting out until the offensive coordinator offers a more sincere apology for criticizing Cutler's ability to check to different plays at the line of scrimmage. I agree with the O.C. I mean come on, can't he pick a play where he gets sacked by only one guy in four seconds as opposed to three guys as soon as he takes the snap? Really now!
  • The Bears have simply gotten tired of having to justify keeping Cutler in the game after the long line of great quarterbacks they've had in Chicago. After all, it was that future first ballot Hall of Famer Rex Grossman who led them to a Super Bowl appearance. Okay, decent...no, tolerable..well, uh, maybe not.
  • Perhaps Cutler is a pacifist and playing in Soldier Field offends his beliefs. It might just be a rumor, but there's talk that if Knicks GM Phil Jackson flames out in New York, he'll play the home games and Cutler will start on the road.
  • The Bears finally realized that Vanderbilt fans don't travel well, so Clausen's Notre Dame roots will help fill the tomb of a stadium built on the shores of windy lake Michigan. After all, Notre Dame's last national championship was way more recent than Da Bears' Super Bowl win, so the Irish fans can bring a more positive, winning attitude to the stadium. 
  • The Chicago front office is concerned that Cutler's lack of enthusiasm will hurt their seeding in the College Football Playoff rankings.
 Okay, so maybe they're a little farfetched, but how much more than less than a year after agreeing to the NFL's highest valued contract, he's now considered a bum? Cutler's not an all-time great, but he's pretty good and in the right scheme with an offensive line that can block and a defense that can cover, he could find more success. Correction, will find more success, just not in the Windy City.